By Ryan Burton
IBF welterweight champion Errol "The Truth" Spence (22-0) held a media workout today in his hometown of Dallas for his upcoming clash against former champion Lamont Peterson (35-3-1). The showdown takes place on January 20th at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY and will be televised by Showtime.
The 27-year-old unbeaten fighter is feeling very relaxed coming into into the fight. In his last fight in May, he traveled to Kell Brook's backyard in the UK and ripped away his crown. Spence slowly broke Brook down on his way to stopping him in 11 rounds.
He doesn't believe there is anyway fighting Peterson in New York can equal the atmosphere he experienced when he fought Brook in Sheffield.
"I don't feel any pressure at all. I don't think the pressure can amount to going overseas for my first title fight and fighting the champion in his hometown. I don't see it as pressure. If there is any pressure it is just making me work harder and I enjoy it," Spence stated.
This will be the first title defense for the 2012 US Olympian and he plans on putting on the type of performance that will enhance his case as the world's best welterweight.
"For me it is the same as every fight. It is a statement fight. Lamont Peterson has a name. He has been in there with a lot of a of great fighters and it is a statement fight for me to show everybody that I am the best welterweight in the division," said Spence.
Of course fighters such as WBC/WBA welterweight champion Keith Thurman and former lightweight and super lightweight champion Terence Crawford, who is expected to face WBO welterweight champion Jeff Horn in his first fight in the 147 pound division in the spring, may have something to say about who is the division's best fighter.
Spence has been very vocal with his desire to face Thurman but "One Time" has stated that a unification bout may have to wait until 2019. Thurman underwent surgery on his right elbow in May and is rumored to being facing Jessie Vargas in the spring.
Unifying titles may be Spence's biggest goal but he makes it clear that being active - after fighting just once last year - is the most important thing for him and that he won't be waiting around for anyone.
"Hopefully the Keith Thurman fight happens but if it doesn't then it is on to another top welterweight. I am not going to waste anytime this year. I am looking to fight three times a year and I am not going to wait around for anybody. I am going to follow my own way and hopefully get back in the ring in May," said Spence.
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